New viability study on Mozambican heavy sands project ready by March 2008

6 August 2007

Maputo, Mozambique, 6 Aug – A new study on a revised project to mine titanium-bearing heavy sands at Chibuto in southern Mozambique will be published in March 2008, the company involved in the venture has said.

Alan Cuddon, CEO of Corridor Sands, said Wednesday that the new design for the project involves building a smelter for ores at Beluluane in Maputo province near the Mozal aluminum smelter, instead of the building of a mineral port at Chonguene.

Cuddon told state news agency AIM that the new site for a smelter had the advantage of the required energy for the project, around 120 megawatts, as well as a nearby port to export minerals from.

Deputy-Minister of Mineral Resources Abdul Razak said the revised project by Corridor sands would save around 50 percent on the original investment of the venture, estimated at around US$ 1 billion.

Razak added that a final proposal will be presented by Corridor Sands at the end of next year and heavy sands production at Chibuto will begin between 2011 and 2012.

“We think the project will go ahead,” said Razak, adding that the level of contacts between the company involved and the government, as well as the social involvement of firms involved in Chibuto, justified his optimism.

BHP Billiton leads the Chibuto project with a 90 percent shareholding, the remaining 10 percent of shares held by the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa. (macauhub)